UCA’s Beta Alpha Psi Chapter Achieves Superior Status for 2021-2022

Congratulations to our Beta Alpha Psi students and to Connie McKnight and Ashley Phillips, our tireless faculty advisors, for another year of superior status!

To be a superior chapter, the registered student organization met the following requirements:

  • Average member completed at least 32 hours of service and professional development (at least 12 each)
    >265 hours of professional development
    >555 hours of service
  • Chapter completed at least 8 reaching-out activities including attending conferences; competing in best practices and project run-with-it; alumni activities’ multi-chapter events; and promoting careers in accounting, finance, information systems, and/or data analytics.

In addition, the chapter accomplished:

  • 1st place at Regionals for Best Practices in The Art of Engagement (Escape Room)
  • 2nd place at Regionals for Best Practices in The Art of Change (changing meeting formats)
  • $2375 donated to various charities (cash and items)

Beta Alpha Psi is an honor organization founded in 1919 for financial information students and professionals. There are over 300 AACSB- and/or EQUIS-accredited chapters on university campuses with over 300,000 members. Beta Alpha Psi recognizes scholastic excellence, offers professional development, and encourages ethical, social, and public responsibility.

The BAP Theta Lambda chapter of University of Central Arkansas focuses on honoring scholarship, professional development, and service to the community. Members have the opportunity to meet and get to know professionals from all areas of accounting, and they learn skills needed to be successful in careers in accounting, finance, information systems, and analytics.

Alumni Profile: Elian Mackey (’22)

Elian Mackey
Graduated in May 2022 with a Bachelor of Science in Information Systems
Recently honored as 2022’s Outstanding Information Systems Student

What drew you to business? When and how did you know that an education in business is the right fit for you?

I wanted to combine technical skills with business skills. I had a variety of extracurriculars that allowed me to grow as a person while helping me meet new people and build strong connections. That was when I knew this is what I wanted to do.

What have you found useful in the College of Business and why?

  • In my time attending the Business and Information Technology (BIT) Club meetings, I was able to stay updated with the skills different companies are looking for in hiring. I value that time. With the curriculum, classes in the CISA department and in the Math and Computer Science department have given me a wide skill set with experience in Java, SQL, Python, C++ and HTML. I will forever be grateful for my time here.

My advisor has been such an immense help for as long as I can remember. He has always been so supportive, and if I felt like I needed help with my schedule or DegreeWorks, I would never be afraid to contact him.

I recommend the UCA College of Business as there are so many opportunities you can pursue, and the professors are all willing to help get your name out there. A big part of this that I have seen is at the annual STEM career fair.

What tips or advice would you give to new, current, or prospective business students?

Something that I wish I knew during my first year was to start working on my online portfolio early. If you have projects, list them. Join LinkedIn and start making those connections. Go to career fairs and hand out those resumes even if you are not planning on applying for a job. It is important for success in your future college career and your future profession.

Accounting Professor Ashley Phillips Awarded the Peter J. Mehl Service-Learning Faculty of the Year Award for VITA Program

Professor Ashley Phillips of the Accounting Department has been awarded the Peter J. Mehl Service-Learning Faculty of the Year Award for 2021-2022. She partners with the United Way of Central Arkansas to offer the Volunteer Income Tax Assistance (VITA) Program to low income taxpayers in our region. Ashley offers a service-learning course for UCA students, who earn the necessary IRS certification, and prepare the tax returns.

UCA accounting students did an amazing job this tax season as part of the VITA program at United Way of Central Arkansas (UWCA). Five UCA accounting majors took the VITA course for credit, and of the five taking it for credit, four volunteered over 80 hours (Macy Dillard, Joseph Howe, Jonathan Humphrey, and Jakob Ligon). There were an additional six UCA accounting majors who volunteered. These students volunteered approximately 420 hours.

UWCA filed 255 federal tax returns as part of the VITA program. UCA accounting students prepared 253 of the 255 returns. These returns brought back over $324,000 to the local community.

Congratulations Ashley!

And way to go VITA student volunteers.

COB Beta Alpha Psi Chapter Places First and Second at Regional Conference Competitions

UCA’s Theta Lambda Chapter of Beta Alpha Psi earned a first place win at the 2022 regional conference in the category of Best Practices in the Art of Engagement. Several members worked to create an escape room with a resume theme and offered the escape to teams of students. Harris Felton and Tristen Porter presented the project for the virtual competition. Because of the first place regional win, the Theta Lambda Chapter will compete against the other regional winners in Orlando this summer.

UCA students also earned a 2nd Place regional win for Best Practices in the Art of Change. Chapter members Claire DeBusk, Yulia Lyubchenko, and Kaidan Zheng shared how the Theta Lambda Chapter changed in the face of covid and the increased demands of members.  [Read more…]

Outstanding General Business Student: Jenna Glisch

Jenna Glisch

Classification: Senior earning a BBA in Business Administration

Hometown: Rockwall, TX

Future plans: I haven’t accepted a job yet, but as of right now I plan on finding a job working in HR, and eventually move back to Texas to be closer to my family. I am open to whatever career path fits best for me and my life, and that is part of the reason why I chose general Business Administration as my major! I have many interests in hobbies, so I can see my career path changing over time.

Having professors that care not only how you do in their course, but also in life, is the best thing. Professors don’t have to take the time out of their day to ask about you, your life, and how you’re doing, so it means a lot when they do! COB Adviser Emma Allen also took time to talk to me about my life, my hobbies, and made a real connection with me when we could have just talked about my classes for next semester and been done with it. The advice I have received that is most meaningful to me is the life lessons Mr. Courtway taught us.


Outstanding Phi Beta Lambda Student: Ryan Taneja

Ryan Taneja

Classification: Junior earning a degree in Management Information Systems

Hometown: Benton, AR

Future plans: After obtaining my bachelor’s degree, I plan on following in the footsteps of my amazing parents. I will be pursuing my Masters in Business Administration while working as a Business Analyst. I also will be working on expanding my businesses, such as Taneja Marketing Group, and trying to support fellow Arkansans and my community through my non-profit called The Taneja Family Foundation.

As an undergraduate in the UCA College of Business, I have had numerous amazing mentors, from Dr. Marsha Carson to Dr. Jim Downey to Dr. Laci Lyons. The faculty at the College of Business has shown me so much love, patience, and guidance as I navigate my entrepreneurial goals. A lot of professors would agree that one big thing that stops entrepreneurs and indeed anyone from achieving their complete potential/goals is anxiety and self-doubt. I can recall when a company wanted to purchase one of my businesses, and I ran to Dr. Tracy Suter super nervous because my heart was telling me “no,” but my mind was scared and telling me to say yes. Thanks to him and the rest of the College of Business’s excellent staff & faculty, I continue to follow my heart, and I never look back because I know they are people out there who believe in me and have my back. The College of Business will always be my home, and I’ll always be grateful for the fantastic friendships I have and currently am making here.

Outstanding Gamma Iota Sigma Student: William Biernat

William Biernat

Classification: Junior earning a BBA in Insurance and Risk Management

Hometown: Little Rock, AR

Future plans: I plan on accepting a job after graduation. I do have an internship for this summer with an insurance agency.

“Being a part of the UCA College of Business has benefited me tenfold. As president of one of the business clubs within the College of Business, I gain experience with promoting and running a club. I’ve been able to connect with students from all different majors in the COB and gain knowledge that will benefit me throughout my professional career. My professors in the College want me to succeed and that motivates me to do the best I can in the classroom. I’ve gained skills in networking whether it was from meetings, job fairs, or conferences I was able to attend.”

Outstanding BASCOM Student: Peyton Tolliver

Peyton Tolliver

Classification: Junior earning a BBA in Logistics and Supply Chain Management

Hometown: Columbia, Missouri

Future plans: I  am currently a Business Management Intern at Virco Manufacturing in Conway, AR and plan to take on a full time job in supply chain upon graduation in May 2023.

“I have made connections with students and faculty that I know will last long after I graduate. Faculty such as Dr. Voss and Mr. Cross have encouraged and supported me as I work towards my degree and are always there to answer questions and give advice when I need it. Through these relationships I’ve been provided opportunities for leadership positions within UCA and outside organizations, internships and networking with industry professionals. These opportunities have allowed me to grow as an individual as well as a leader and industry professional.”


Outstanding Beta Alpha Psi Student: Claire DeBusk

Claire DeBusk

Classification: Graduate earning a Master of Accountancy

Hometown: Cabot, AR

Future plans: In June, I will start as assurance staff at HoganTaylor and begin the process of taking the CPA exam.

“My time at UCA has been an amazing 5 years. As a freshman, I could not have imagined all the people I would meet, the memories I would make, and the experiences that would impact me. The College of Business has become a second home; I have spent hundreds of hours in the building attending class, studying, or hanging with friends. I am blessed to have such great faculty and classmates that have helped me along the way. Most notably, Beta Alpha Psi has positively impacted my leadership and professional development. I have been able to network with employers as well as get to know my classmates. I will always remember my time in the College of Business with gratitude.”

Outstanding Accounting Club Student: Kaidan Zheng

KaKaidan Zhengi

Classification: Senior earning a BBA in Accounting

Hometown: Bryant, AR

Future plans: I enrolled in the MAcc program at UCA starting this summer, and after that, I have accepted a tax staff position at HoganTaylor LLP in Little Rock, AR starting next June.

I appreciate Beta Alpha Psi and Accounting club for  organizing events that assist students in building their careers, especially the opportunity to attend the Beta Alpha Psi regional conference with other excellent students.